In this follow-up to Acevedo’s National Book Award and Printz Medal winning debut, Emoni (like Xiomara in The Poet X) is first-gen American (she’s Afro-Boricua). Emoni is also a teen mom (which Acevedo chooses not to portray as a burden, while also being honest about the challenges it presents) and a gifted chef. Her struggles honing her culinary gift and learning to define life on her own terms make this is a flavorful and compelling read.— Stephanie
“The only word I can use to properly describe this book is ‘delicious.’ I first fell in love with Acevedo’s poetry in The Poet X, and now I’m even more in love with her prose in With the Fire on High. This gorgeously relatable story of a teen mom who dreams of life as a chef will rip your heart out, season it, fry it up, and serve it back to you in the tastiest of ways. My only warning is this: Do not read it while hungry.”
— Emelie Burl, Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington Depot, CT
From the New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award longlist title The Poet X comes a dazzling novel in prose about a girl with talent, pride, and a drive to feed the soul that keeps her fire burning bright.
Ever since she got pregnant freshman year, Emoni Santiago's life has been about making the tough decisions--doing what has to be done for her daughter and her abuela. The one place she can let all that go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness.
Even though she dreams of working as a chef after she graduates, Emoni knows that it's not worth her time to pursue the impossible. Yet despite the rules she thinks she has to play by, once Emoni starts cooking, her only choice is to let her talent break free.